Let’s help the Palestinian economy to grow

By Douglas Alexander, May 22, 2008

This week’s Palestine Investment Conference can change the face of the region

The path to peace in the Middle East is as rocky as it is long. Progress has been arduous, sometimes non-existent, and it is not surprising that at times hope has fallen by the wayside.

Today, once again, we are at a fork in the road. One route leads to continued conflict, the other potentially to lasting peace. For everyone in the region, that would be a great prize. After decades of bloodshed and hatred, there is a chance of a brighter future.


Maccabiah entry fees spiral

By Simon Griver, May 16, 2008

Participants in next year’s 18th Maccabiah Games will be forced to meet the costs of the event’s spiralling budget resulting from the strength of the shekel and the weakness of the dollar.

Meeting in Ramat Gan last weekend, the Presidents Forum of the World Maccabi Union decided to increase participants fees by $350 to $2,930. UK athletes will have to pay the sterling equivalent. Participants are also certain to be hit by rising fuel costs, given that the fee includes hotels and transportation in Israel but not air fares.


Ros Altmann offers advice to younger people as the pensions crisis deepens

By Candice Krieger, May 16, 2008

As employers continue to cut back on private pension schemes, former Downing Street adviser Ros Altmann is warning that younger people are particularly at risk of facing an impoverished retirement.

The number of firms that are either shutting or reducing their contribution to schemes — which pay a percentage of a worker’s earnings on retirement — has soared to its highest since records began, due to increasing costs.


What a boycott would have cost

By Leon Symons, May 16, 2008

A leading economist has said that the UK economy and employment in Britain would suffer badly in the event of an academic boycott of Israel.

Commenting on a new report highlighting the financial impact on Britain if last year’s aborted academic boycott against Israel had gone ahead, Jonathan Hoffman, who has worked for the Bank of England and other major financial institutions, said: “The UK economy would suffer in the event of a hypothetical academic boycott.